What to do/say and when to do/say it?

Executives, middle mangers and frontline personnel, across industries and boarders, ask me essentially the same two questions:

What do I do and when do I do it?

What do I say and when do I say it?

Creating personal and professional success boils down to getting these two questions right.

While your education, training, experience and skills many help you do and say some of the right things, getting what you desire often depends on one’s relational know-how.

Here are three basic relational preparedness tips:

  1. Curate the question: If you wait until the prize is offered you’ll be battling the pack. If you want an internship with the greatest company on earth next summer; identify people already working there this summer, engage with them now and position yourself as the obvious answer to the question they haven’t yet asked.
  2. People plan. Decisions aren’t made in a vacuum and vacuums don’t make decisions—people do! Align what you want with the wants and desires of the decision makers.
  3. Make human connections. Don’t just identify who is making the decision, find out who the decision marker IS as a person and connect with them on a personal level.

If these tips seem in anyway manipulative, you’ve missed the point.

The relational approach is not about falsely changing the minds of others, the approach is about truly changing the way you think about yourself and what you have to offer.

Doing your relational homework, knowing what motivates others and who they really are, can help you do/say what needs to be done/said and the insights you’ll need to do/say it at the right time.